Welcome to Butterfly Dreams
Butterfly Dreams is non-profit organization that provides events and pageants for individuals who are differently-abled. Our individuals with significant I/DD receive the chance to reach their goals and expand upon their life skills like making friends, overcoming fear, embracing courage, and learning how to communicate their passions across to others.
Merriam-Webster defines a chrysalis as “a hard case that protects a moth or butterfly while it is turning in to an adult”. We like to think of our organization as a type of chrysalis. We provide a safe loving atmosphere where individuals can grow, become more self-confident, develop self-esteem, and transform into beautiful butterflies.
Our children and adults participate in both an annual state pageant and numerous other yearly activities for residents in Illinois and Missouri, with future plans to branch out across America. Our goal is to give every everyone a safe encouraging environment, where they can make friends, volunteer in their communities, spread the message of inclusion, and help break down the barriers caused by fear of the unknown.
Syndi Sills, affectionately known as “Momma Butterfly” was born and raised in West Palm Beach Florida. She spent her childhood and teenage years modeling and competing in local, state, and national pageants, including the preliminary for Miss America, where she placed first runner up. The only thing she loved more than competing in pageants was her family, especially her late brother Paul Jr. (P.J.) who had Down Syndrome. Two of her fondest memories were teaching P.J. to play….
How It Began
Butterfly Dreams was created in memory of a special butterfly named Paul Jr. (P.J.) He was our Founder, Syndi Sills’, older brother. PJ was born with Down Syndrome in 1960 at which time the doctors expressed their sympathies that he would not live past the age of eighteen. PJ proved them wrong by a long shot. Not only did he see the age 49, but he would have lived even longer had he not been taken tragically in a car accident. Nonetheless having Down Syndrome did not stop P.J. from living a wonderful fun filled life.
When they were young, P.J. and Syndi competed in pageants together, winning many trophies and awards. They also took dance and modeling classes.